Photo: Sequoia Capital
Michael Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital, sent an email this morning to investors saying he’d be stepping down from his day to day role at the firm due to an incurable illness.Moritz is also stepping down from his position on the board of Google.
He has invested in many tech and Internet companies including Yahoo, PayPal, Kayak and LinkedIn. He began his career as a reporter for Time.
“He’s stepping back from daily management so he can devote more time to the investment side of the business,” says Sequoia’s Andrew Kovacs. “He and Doug together have been managing day to day things, everything from compliance to legal. Now he’s going to focus on working with younger entrepreneurs and younger partners — and he’ll be taking a few more weeks vacation.”
Kovacs says the firm doesn’t expect much to change now that Moritz is becoming Chairman of Sequoia. He’ll continue to be involved and lead investments.
Here’s the email Moritz sent this morning. We’re wishing him the best.
We have always tried to be straightforward with you and, in that spirit, I need to share something. Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with a rare medical condition which can be managed but is incurable. I’ve been told that in the next five to 10 years the quality of my life is quite likely to decline. Right now I feel fitter than ever and I hope that I’ll be one of the lucky ones who can live a full life and defy the statisticians. But there is no way of predicting this with certainty and thus for me, life has assumed a different meaning and I am making some adjustments.
I am going to extract myself from the daily management of Sequoia Capital, a task that has consumed a large part of my time for the past sixteen years. I will become Chairman of Sequoia Capital and will be deeply involved with nurturing the fresh investments, ideas and relationships that can be of significant long-term benefit for all of us. I will also work very closely with some of our younger and newer members, will continue my role as Managing Member of existing funds and maintain all my current company responsibilities. I will use twelve to fourteen weeks – sprinkled throughout the course of each year – for various pursuits, diversions and trivial indulgences.
Nothing about this should cause much of a change because everything that has been achieved at Sequoia Capital has resulted from the teamwork and contribution of many people. Our overall business is in the best shape it has ever been and we are better positioned than at any time in our 40 year history. Doug Leone will assume full responsibility for coordinating the business we have gradually developed over the past couple of decades and almost everything else remains entirely the same.
Thanks for your support,